By: Awesome Ekene
The Anambra State Government has flagged off the third phase of COVID-19 Mass Vaccination in the state to protect residents against the pandemic.
Executive Secretary, Anambra State Primary Healthcare Development Agency, Dr Chioma Ezenyimulu, during the flag-off ceremony on Tuesday in Awka, said the 3rd Phase of the vaccination would run from Dec. 7, 2021 to Jan. 6 2022.
She said that the speedy discovery of COVID-19 vaccines and the subsequent mass vaccination campaigns had drastically reduced morbidity and mortality of the disease.
She said, “We are happy that Nigeria has embraced the hope offered by the vaccines. The vaccines have led to a drastic decline of cases worldwide.
“Anambra state commenced COVID-19 vaccination on March 17, using AstraZeneca vaccines and later, Moderna Vaccines.
“Since then we have vaccinated 113,218 residents in the first and second phases of the vaccination campaign.
“To ensure that every ward is reached with this third phase vaccination, 330 Primary Health Centres, 50 accredited private hospitals and 16 special centres will conduct COVID-19 vaccination in the state.
“Having brought the vaccination to our doorsteps, it is hoped that our people, aged 18 years and above will embrace this opportunity especially during this Christmas festivities.”
Ezenyimulu appreciated UNICEF, WHO and the European Union for providing megaphones for social mobilisation and ultra cold chain equipment for proper storage of the vaccines.
She however, urged the state government to intervene in the employment of more health workers to address the challenge of shortage of staff.
Also speaking, World Health Organisation, Coordinator in Anambra, Dr Chukwumuanya Igboekwu said that achieving high population immunity required vaccinating 70 per cent of the world population.
“Countries were given target of vaccinating 10 per cent of her population by the end of September 2021, 40 per cent by the end of December and 70 per cent by the end of June 2022.
“Unfortunately, Nigeria has barely vaccinated three per cent of her population as at Dec.2 2021.
“Note that 28 countries including Nigeria have confirmed another type of COVID-19 virus called Omicron, which WHO has categorised as variant of concern, and 4th wave is being anticipated.
“| want to encourage everyone to get vaccinated, and continue to adhere with all the COVID-19 safety measures,” she said.